This year I'm participating in the annual Clayamies Christmas Ornament Swap again after not having a space to make ornaments in for the past two Christmases.
I had a great idea for something interesting and a little different but after a couple of attempts I realized that the design that worked so well in my head would require a lot more real life design (& engineering) hours to get it to work than I was willing to spend. Filed it away in the box with all my other great ideas that didn't quite work. Am going to need a much bigger box soon.
Got nervous when I started to hear from some keeners who had already finished the maximum of 20 ornaments and I was still trying come up with a new idea - I now needed something simple that I could whip up a bunch of very fast. (I may have been guilty of going a little overboard in the past so I'm due for making some smaller, simpler ornaments than say, the giant pinwheels I made one year - sorry guys, I'm sure those ones blew everyone's postage budget to hell)
In the meantime I went to Julie Picarello's wonderful workshop at Linda's house in Deep Cove.
Came home, started playing around and made some Julie's-lizard-tails-inspired twisted candy-canes.
Except I used a striped block of clay instead of thin sheets;
and I twisted them instead of rolling;
and didn't use any of the gold leaf that gives Julie's sparkle;
and I used no Ecru in my colours, strictly clear bright candy cane colours;
and I didn't taper them - (who would want a pointy, already-sucked-on candy-cane?);
and I cut them in 4 sections, not 2;
and.... Hmmmm, I guess my weird little candy canes really don't have much similarity to Julie's lizard-tails after all, except for the fact that they both have a mirror-image effect.
Julie's class DID remind me of the mesmerizing effect that those mirror images have on our brain.
I made an even dozen of them, a perfectly respectable amount for the swap. It means I get back a dozen ornaments from clayers across the country.
I can't wait.
In the past I've put all my swapped ornaments on a wreath but this year it was too crowded to fit all of them.
And I haven't even received this years' batch.
I'm going to have to get a small artificial tree, just for my treasured polymer clay collection.
Or a second "overflow" wreath.